Recently we sat down with Kim Robinson, VP Senior Portfolio Manager, to discuss what advice she is giving clients in 2020.
What’s the number one piece of advice you’re giving clients in 2020?
From a personal standpoint, I remind them to take care of themselves, their health, and their families. We’re all in the same boat, right? From an investment standpoint, I urge clients to make sure they are invested for the term that fits their needs. Do they need funds in the short-, long-, or medium-term? We make sure to consistently review personalized goals and objectives; it’s one of the advantages to working with Mascoma Wealth Management instead of a larger operation.
Tell us about diversification.
Well, diversification is key to investing success. You should have a risk level that meets your goals. A little stock, a little bonds, a little foreign. We try to lead clients with open-ended questions to find out what their risk tolerance is. I call it their “sleep number” and it has nothing to do with a mattress setting. For example, consider someone who has 50% of their funds invested in the stock market. If the market goes down 20% in a day or a week, are you going to be able to sleep at night? If yes, then you’re at the right sleep number. But if that type of risk would make you concerned, then we need to adjust so that you can sleep. Money shouldn’t make you nervous; it should help make life less nerve-wracking. At Mascoma Wealth Management, it always comes down to educating clients as to why they are invested the way they are. The more educational tools we give them, the more they are able to manage themselves and their emotions. Of course, MWM advisors are always here to help; we love it when clients reach out when they need a little encouragement.
What do clients call you about?
“Is now the time to add more to the market?” When the market goes down 300 points in a 30,000 point market, people sometimes need a little hand-holding and perspective. Again, we just like to help however and whenever we can. We ask questions like, “How much money do you need for the next 3-6 months? Are those funds available? Has your family situation changed? Your professional situation? Anything else?” When clients get talking, we’re able to make better decisions together. Sometimes, people reach out just for comfort from a friendly voice. They like to know that we are there, that we are paying attention and helping them. I’ve never seen a time like this, from a communication standpoint. We’re getting people comfortable on Zoom or Teams or Facetime. They crave that human interaction that helps them communicate honestly. I’ve been Facetiming with a 90-year-old client! On the younger side of the spectrum is a young man I work with who is eager to jump into the market with $100,000. I asked him, “What’s your time frame? What are your goals?” We discussed volatility and I walked him through all the “this is what could happen” scenarios. It’s funny, with today’s electronic tools, there are any number of ways investors can do this on their own, yet we find that people are willing to work with us because we give them that extra sense of security and knowledge. They can always call us for comfort, advice, and expertise that is tailored to their personal goals.
What’s the best news you’ve seen on the investing side in 2020?
Well, right now, nobody’s panicking, which means that our education is working!